List of Cruelty Free Skincare Brands in South Africa

We’re looking at cruelty free South African brands in this edition of lifestyle changes that we can make to benefit the earth in 2020. If you aren’t already checking all your products for cruelty free labels, the time is now. You’d be surprised how many of the major brands still test on animals. 

According to Cruelty free Kitty, popular brands like Mac, Bobbi Brown, OB tampons, Aussie and Vaseline still test on animals or fund animal testing by testing on animals where the law requires it. In 2019, China announced that post-market testing for finished imported and domestically produced cosmetics would no longer include tests on animals however such laws can’t be expected to change overnight so I would still avoid brands that sell in China for the time being. Also, be aware that products marked as vegan are not necessarily cruelty free. I turn to Cruelty Free Kitty to research brands before making a purchase but their list doesn’t include many Proudly South African brands so I thought I’d put this list together. 

Skin Creamery

Now stocked in Woolworths, buying cruelty free has never been more convenient. Packaged in glass and made with organic ingredients, this looks like a brand I definitely want to try. Very similar to atotheme’s philosophy of ‘be kind to the earth, be kind to your home’ The Skin Creamery ethos is to be kind to the earth, and kind to your skin. 


Certified as organic, cruelty free and vegan, Esse has it all going! On top of that, they are also carbon neutral. After auditing their annual carbon consumption, Esse purchases carbon credits to offset the company’s carbon emissions. They use prebiotics to selectively feed good microbes in the skin.


I’ve been using Skoon since August last year. I started using the Vitamin C serum and loved it so much that I went on to buy 2 of their cleansers as well. All their products did wonders for my skin. Unfortunately, I haven’t figured out how to get that last bit of cleanser out their plastic pump packaging. As I’m diving deeper into a zero-waste lifestyle I’m considering a product with a more eco-friendly, recyclable packaging. That said, their products have been one of the most travel-friendly solutions I’ve found. No spills. No fuss. All sizes are within the hand baggage limits so I don’t have to think twice when packing.


Lulu & Marula

Lulu & Marula’s fun packaging makes me want to be on a tropical island, sipping a coconut. The great thing about their range is that it’s palm oil and mineral oil free, allowing those tropical regions to sustain their natural habitats and the animals that live in them. All their products are free of parabens and sulphates. 


Deeply rooted in Africa, Africology uses pure natural ingredients to create some of the best smelling skincare out there. To this day their coffee and rose diffuser is the best thing my olfactory senses have had the pleasure of smelling. Their packaging is gorgeous and lends itself to be reused or recycled. All their products are free from microplastics, which means they’re safe to wash into the water system. 


Also with strong ties to Africa, indigenous plants used by African healers are the heart and soul of Rain’s products. Their ‘no list’ makes it simple to understand what they value in skincare: no parabens, no petroleum jelly, no mineral oil, no liquid paraffin, no petrochemicals, no animal testing, no child labour
These are just some of the brands doing awesome things in South African skincare and many sell internationally as well, they make us truly proud to be South African. Check out the Humane Guide if you’re using a product that is not on our list and would like to know if it’s cruelty free.

Suki Suki

I’ve ooo-ed over Suki Suki Naturals Instagram for quite some time now! Their natural hair care and skin care brand is 100% handmade in South Africa. Their products are free from Mineral Oil, Preservatives, Parabens, Artificial Fragrances, Sulfates, Animal Ingredients, Phthalates, Formaldehyde, Petroleum, Propylene, Paraffin & Animal Testing. Pretty awesome right?

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